Perfect for appreciating your garden as you sip a cold drink on a hot summer’s day and ideal for entertaining throughout a long summer’s evening, a conservatory is a welcome addition to many homes across the UK.
But, as the leaves turn shades of orange and brown and temperatures begin to drop, chances are those very same conservatories are left unused and unloved.
The arrival of autumn and winter shouldn’t mean losing that extra space in your home or missing out on watching the seasons change in your own garden.
With a few changes and tweaks, you can discover how to enjoy an all year round conservatory with our warmth-boosting tips and energy efficient ideas that won’t only keep you cosy but will save you money in the long run.
Do you own an all year round conservatory?
When it comes to your conservatory, the first thing to think about is whether you use it all year round. Do the temperatures get too hot in the summer or do you take a break during the cooler, wetter, darker months?
And if you do take a break, why?
Are winter evenings too cold to bear even when snuggled with a blanket and a warm brew?
Does the average temperature of your conservatory stay consistently chilly or does it reach ‘boiling point’?
Is your garden north or south facing?
Can you feel a draught?
Is the roof too noisy when the rain comes down?
Or do you ever find it leaks thanks to the unpredictable nature of the Great British weather combined with that dodgy joint or seal you’ve been meaning to fix?
If you find that you abandon your conservatory from time to time, transform it into an all weather conservatory that can be used at any time of the year with just a few of our practical and cost-effective suggestions for modifying it.
How to make a conservatory usable all year round
Turn a fair-weather conservatory into an all season conservatory with a range of warming and cooling energy efficient upgrades. Our handy tips will help you to manage your conservatory temperature more effectively for a more pleasant experience whatever month it is.
The position of your conservatory can contribute to the way it collects and retains heat throughout the day. South facing and west facing conservatories will warm up throughout the day, but may require additional ventilation via opening vents, doors, and windows during the summer months to keep temperatures balmy.
North facing and east facing conservatories are more vulnerable to cooler temperatures due to a lack of direct sunlight and the direction of the cooler easterly breeze, and would benefit from extra insulation to help them stay warm.
To be classed as a conservatory and to remain free from building regulations review, conservatory walls must be made up of at least 50% glass.
Glass is typically a poor insulator, adding to the challenge of managing the temperature of a conservatory.
With the sun pouring in during the summer and heat escaping through the winter, consider adding a brick dwarf wall at the base of the conservatory to limit exposed glass as much as possible.
Any brickwork can then be insulated to help further regulate the temperature of the conservatory for use all year round.
With most heat escaping through the roof, an insulated conservatory roof with vents can help you to achieve an all year round conservatory by keeping the heat in when it’s needed and reflecting heat when it isn’t.
32mm polycarbonate conservatory roofs are a cheaper option for preventing heat loss, but a double-glazed glass conservatory roof filled with insulating argon gas is likely to be a more cost-effective energy efficient option in the long-term.
Older conservatories could be losing heat through single glazed glass panels. Update your conservatory glazing with modern double glazed insulated glass panels. With decorative glazing also available, your conservatory will look great as well as keeping the perfect temperature all year round.
Conservatory Windows and Doors
When planning your conservatory, aim to have as many opening windows and doors as possible to optimise the amount of ventilation available to you, especially in warmer weather. Using a professional conservatory installer to construct your conservatory will help to ensure the joints and seals of your conservatory’s windows and doors are fitted correctly.
Knowing how to maintain conservatory windows and doors will help to reduce the risk of draughts and leaking in future.
If you wish to, you could install draught excluders around doorways and fix draught excluding tape around window seals to further prevent cold air getting in and warm air getting out.
Your Conservatory Interior
Comfortable in more ways than one, soft furnishings can also help to increase the cosy-factor of your conservatory especially when temperatures cool.
Add blinds or curtains to keep the sun out during hot summer days and to keep the warmth in during winter, top underlay insulated flooring with decorative rugs, and have soft blankets and throws to hand, to create the ideal all weather conservatory.
Our Ultimate Conservatory Interior Guide might give you a few ideas, so check it out.
Heating Your Conservatory
A perfectly insulated conservatory will help to significantly reduce the amount of heat energy wasted through the roof and windows, but probably won’t eliminate waste completely.
Because the structure remains predominantly made of glass it’s not advisable to connect your conservatory to your home’s central heating system, due to the amount of heat that could potentially be lost.
Instead choose a wall mounted or free-standing electric heater that can be controlled manually to produce heat on demand and will help you to stay in control of your energy costs.
Now’s the Perfect Time to Get Started on Your All Year Round Conservatory
From simple and cheap to larger-scale bigger-budget type jobs, there are lots of ways to make your conservatory more usable all year round.
If you’ve been planning on making improvements to your existing conservatory, get a free quote and start building your all year round conservatory budget as soon as possible.